Thank you to Liz Duffy, Manager, Customer Consulting, for sharing the following blog post about reading trends in 2021 and her thoughts on how this will evolve in 2022. A special thanks also to contributors Alison Curtin, CATS Special Collections Project Manager and Bobbie Bensur, CATS Director of Sales and Programs, both from Baker & Taylor, who have suggested hot titles to check out in Title Source 360.
While the past 18 months have been uncertain for libraries and patrons alike, circulation-driven data from collectionHQ has revealed a few trends that indicate a slight shift in reader interests.
This blog will examine circulation trends in 2021 based on methodical research conducted by the data experts at collectionHQ, along with anecdotal evidence from our customers. I will then look more specifically at anticipated Children’s and Teen interests for the year ahead.
Trends in 2021
One of the most common trends has been the uptick in Non-Fiction demand, with a specific focus on Health/Fitness and Mental Health titles. Pilates and stretching made the Top 10, as many of us have been finding techniques to deal with pandemic stress. And to no surprise, Infectious Disease Control also hit the Top BISAC trends. 2021 certainly informed many of us about how viruses are transmitted!
Children’s and Teen Non-Fiction saw a large circulation increase among collectionHQ customers which could be due to a rise in home-schooling, or the fact many schools remained closed at the beginning of 2021, while public libraries kept their doors open for at least curbside pick-up.
With more channels and platforms than the everyday adult could have ever imagined previously, young readers need reliable sources of sound information. Non-Fiction, credible, thoughtful, and vetted informational books are vital to good citizenship and a good education in our fast-changing world. There’s an awesome, fun new series called Totally Random Questions (Bright Matter Books) publishing this year, and another one to check out is a graphic novel memoir for older teens: Messy Roots (Balzer & Bray).
Adult Fiction saw an increase in Christian Fiction demand. Many of our customers have also anecdotally commented on increased patron demand for Amish Fiction Romance as well as Cozy Mysteries and Romance.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Many publishers have been making a conscious effort to add more DEI titles to their spring and fall cycle. 2021 marked many demographic shifts, as the pandemic affected communities across the globe. The collectionHQ DEI Analysis tool is helping libraries to evaluate their current collections and improve the representation of diverse communities.
Predictions for Children’s and Teen in 2022
The world of Children’s and Teen books continues to be an exciting place for authors to publish into, as well as an exciting time for the young readers gobbling it all up. Reliable yet ever changing, pushing both its relevancy and recreational value. Here are some key trends that have bubbled up over the past several seasons and that will continue throughout 2022.
Community and Intergenerational stories
Whether it’s a picture book celebrating a neighborhood or town and the people that make it up, or an easy reader showcasing different cultural traditions and values, the concept of “community” has been the feature of many books for ages 0-18 over the last several years and will continue in 2022 with titles like A Day with a Construction Worker and A Day with a Garbage Collector (Grasshopper Books, “Meet the Community Helpers” series) or Miguel’s Community Garden (Peachtree Publishing) . A recent staff favorite is Dinner on Domingos (Barefoot Books).
Discovering the Great Outdoors
Being active in the great outdoors has seen an uptick in popularity over the past few years. Young readers are clamoring for material to help them independently explore and discover animals, plants, and more. An increased awareness of the environment, animal habitats, and how our climate is changing are key drivers to this popular topic. And, with national collaborative summer reading themes focused on the outdoors this year (including iRead’s “Read Beyond the Beaten Path”) this type of material is sure to be front and center. Some new titles to look forward to are: Show the World! (Viking) and Where the Sky Lives (Balzer & Bray). We’d also be remiss if we didn’t call out the lovely novel by the late, great Gary Paulsen, which pubbed last year: Northwind (Farrar Straus & Giroux).
Youth activism has skyrocketed along with the advent of social media. A wide range of titles have published in recent years that highlight the activist movement, from board books to YA novels. If there is a cause out there, there is a child, there is a young person, who wants to learn more about it. Check out Girls Who Green the World (Delacorte Press) and Sanctuary (Candlewick Press).
Climate and Environmental Awareness
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Read! Young readers are eager to find out more information on conservation of wild-life and natural resources, and about the world players who are fighting for our planet’s survival. Many of these titles can also fall into the Activism category, as we see with Girls Who Green above. Some other good ones are Scrap Metal Swan (Barefoot Books) and Zero Waste Kids (Quarry Books).
Social Emotional Learning
It’s ok to not be ok. You matter. We go farther when we go together. Chances are, you have heard or read these motivational phrases in relation to young people recently. Social emotional learning can be as simple as mindfulness, and as complex as acknowledging and managing strong feelings. Materials that engage young readers and promote self-confidence and good mental health are in high demand as we continue to navigate the pandemic. We see this in the forthcoming Everything will be Okay (Viking) and Out of a Jar (Putnam).
Realistic YA, especially Rom-coms and an emphasis on diverse experiences
YA readers are looking for themselves in today’s fiction. Plain and simple. Whether it be romance, or confronting social dilemmas, or accurate and positive representation of different communities of color, teen readers want to see the world around them on the pages in front of them. Some staff favorites, both with starred reviews include: Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions (Dial Books for Young Readers) and And They Lived… (Bloomsbury Ya).
Enjoyed this blog? Customers of Title Source 360 from B&T can click here to access a selection list detailing Top Titles from some of the top trending BISAC categories.